The World Health Organization revised its health guidelines around the consumption of meat. The report from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer now labels processed meats as “carcinogenic to humans,” meaning their consumption can cause cancer. The report also classifies red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Technically, meat consumption has been linked to cancer, especially colorectal cancer, for years.
It’s a correlation or “link” backed by statistical evidence. Large-scale studies from Europe, Australia, Japan and the U.S. have shown that people who consume more processed and red meat are more likely to develop cancer. Meanwhile, research in the lab has shown scientifically - in rat models and human cells- how that meat leads to the chemical shifts and genetic mutations that turn healthy cells into cancer cells. Based on this collective evidence, the WHO panel has concluded today that processed meat can cause cancer, upgrading its threat assessment from correlative to causal.In contrast, red meat without processing remains a probable cancer-causing agent, because there is less evidence in humans showing that it can spawn cancer.